New Class Teaches You to Become an Engaged Neighbor; Practice on National Good Neighbor Day Sept. 28

  • Published: Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- National Good Neighbor Day is this month, and University of Missouri Extension is encouraging residents of Republic, Ash Grove, Bois D'Arc, Willard, and Walnut Grove to find ways to celebrate the day on Sept. 28 (or alternately Saturday, Sept. 26).

“Neighboring does take time and effort. But, there are both personal and community benefits,” said David Burton, county engagement specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

Burton encourages residents to take the day to meet neighbors they do not already know. Plan and organize a neighborhood block party or workday. Host a simple event like donuts on the driveway or goodies in the garage. Perhaps use chalk to write inspiring quotes on the sidewalks.

Current research shows many Americans suffer from a lack of personal relationships, which leads to isolation, depression, and anger. At the same time, less than three percent of Americans say they know the names of their neighbors, know a fact about them, and have spoken to their neighbors in the last month.

“Developing relationships with our neighbors may provide a solution to our national epidemic of loneliness and the feelings of isolation and depression that so many have,” said Burton.

NEIGHBORING CLASS ONLINE

Burton is teaching an online class entitled "Becoming an Engaged Neighbor." 

The class includes four sessions taught through a video (by Burton and a national expert on neighboring), useful handouts, and interactive discussion boards. Graduates will have opportunities for future training and events with other engaged neighbors.

Individuals can register for the online course at http://extension.missouri.edu.

“There is a lot to learn when it comes to neighboring,” said Burton. “We also know the best way to learn is to practice. Our longterm plan is to stay in touch with course graduates and to work together to make engaging neighbors part of our community conversations.” 

REMEMBER NATIONAL HOLIDAY

In 1978, U.S. President Jimmy Carter announced the creation of a national day aimed at raising public awareness that good neighbors help achieve human understanding and build strong, thriving communities.

Since then, National Good Neighbor Day has been celebrated every year on Sept. 28.

This year, MU Extension is encouraging residents to host a socially-distant event for their immediate neighbors or plan and implement an activity on National Good Neighbor Day (or alternately on Saturday, Sept. 26).

After hosting an event, give your feedback on MU Extension’s neighboring event online at www.surveymonkey.com/r/neighboring.
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Writer: David Burton

Media Contact

David Burton
417/881-8909

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